Scorpions swoop for Stubbs

South Wales Scorpions have signed another forward to strengthen their side as they prepare for their first home League match of the season this Sunday against Whitehaven (kick-off 1pm).

St Asaph born Mike Stubbs has been signed from Welsh Premiership rugby union side Pontypool RFC for the 2011 season. 

He originally played at Ruthin RFC in North Wales and also represented former North Wales rugby union development team “Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404” as well as the Sale Sharks Academy. Signing for the Scorpions will be his first experience of Rugby League. 

Mark Rowley, Scorpions’ Director of Rugby said: “Mike is 6 foot 4, 18 stone and is a strong forward. He will bring much-needed strength and size to our pack and we’re looking forward to seeing him in action.”

Tom Burnell and Barrie Phillips will be also be in contention for a place in the line-up against the Cumbrians.

Tongan international Semisi Cocker, signed from Rochdale Hornets last week, is in line to make his home debut and Rowley says that the South Wales public will enjoy seeing him in action.

“He’s an old fashioned strong forward that the Welsh rugby crowd are used to seeing,” he said. “He’s had a lot of experience at this level and we know that he’ll do well for us this season.”

Whitehaven will have to overcome not just a long journey but having to play their third game in eight days.

They will travel to Wales on the back of a 10-try 60-6 defeat at home to Halifax on Wednesday night in a postponed Northern Rail Cup match.

“If I was a Wales player looking at tonight’s scoreline, I’d think we had a chance on Sunday,” their coach David Seeds said to the Whitehaven News and Star.

“The lads were pretty downbeat but I’ve told them to forget about it. It’s done and dusted and we can’t do a thing about it.

“But we can learn from it and look forward to Sunday and putting things right. Hopefully this was the reality check we needed.”

However Rowley will be telling the Scorpions players to take no notice of Whitehaven’s defeat on Wednesday.

“They lost to Halifax who are a top Championship side and are hoping to get a Super League licence next year,” he said. 

“We lost to an almost identical scoreline to Halifax’s rivals Dewsbury a fortnight ago in the Challenge Cup. Those two results show that the Scorpions and Whitehaven will be going into Sunday’s game on a level footing and the crowd at The Gnoll will more than likely see a close game.”

Whitehaven started the season on minus nine points after going into administration last year. They won in their first Co-operative Championship 1 match last Sunday and will be desperate to get onto positive competition points as soon as possible.

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